Trip reports

Keyhaven

Keyhaven
Tony Bates

Saturday, 6 October 2018

The day dawned dull and cold with light rain, so it was no surprise that no one turned up for the walk until almost the start time. Then 2 others joined me so the three of us set of. The tide was quite high, but as we started out there where a number of curlews calling from the marsh and we had some good views of them.

A couple of swallows flew overhead and a skein of Brent geese flew past The Needles and some more were noted in the harbour. A few meadow pipits and linnets flitted around in the gorse and along the sea wall. Although well camouflaged and hard to see initially, a group of turnstones foraged along the water edge, together with a few redshanks. The lagoons held a good selection of waders including a little stint, a couple of dunlins, lapwings, lots of black tailed godwit, redshank, two spotted redshanks in partial summer plumage with heavily marked backs and a couple of greenshanks. These last two species are very graceful and are always a joy to see.

We didn't see any wigeon, which was a slight surprise but a single gadwall, a handful of shoveler, mallard, more teal and shelduck were noted. Some cormorants were present in the harbour and on Fishlake Lagoon and a couple of pintail flew overhead. As we approached the Jetty a couple of ringed plovers were running about on the sand to the fringe of the lagoon.

Unfortunately, by this time the rain was getting very heavy and so we beat a hasty retreat across the old tip and back down the "Ancient Highway" where we added great black backed , herring and black-headed gulls together with numerous Canada geese before reaching the welcome shelter of the new hide overlooking the reed beds. There was, however, little activity there although we did add pheasant to our days list before retreating to our cars out of the rain.